December 16th: Askasleikir


I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record here: Yule Lad leaves mountains, sneaks in somewhere and then licks things. Thankfully though, tonight’s Yule Lad Askasleikir (Bolw Licker), is the last in line of the lickers.

Image via Brian Pilkinton from the book The Yule Lads

Image via Brian Pilkinton from the book The Yule Lads

Before we go any further I should probably explain his name a little bit. Askasleikir means bowl licker but Askur was a special kind of bowl that every member of the household would have back in the day. It was made out of wood and had a lid to keep the food warm but every bowl was unique and often personalized with the name of the owner or the initials carved in the lid. There are some great examples of these bowls in the National Museum that you might want to check out.

So back to the man of the hour. Askasleikir would hide under people’s bed and wait for them to put down their bowls (in those days bedrooms doubled as a dining room) so he could steal them and eat the leftovers. Another hungry brother.

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